Friday, October 29, 2010

Viva La Vida 2010

For those of you who missed Viva la Vida Fest 2010 sponsored by Austin's Mexic-Arte Museum, first, you should feel very despondent because you missed a good time that you won't be able to get in on it for another year. Second, my friend Kim of Devilgirl Design took some amazing shots for me to use here (I was busy holding down the fort and (wo)manning the booths during the day. Plus, she likes taking pictures more than I do.
I spent the better part of last Saturday (12pm-11pm, no joke) vending with my favorite crafty pals, Devilgirl Design and Sweet Wolf. Leading up to the event, we had all been fiercely working to churn out new pieces just in time (and appropriately themed) for VLVF. Here's what they cooked up, respectively:From the workbench of Devilgirl Design: hearts, stars, pistols, and skulls a plenty. I'm in love.
A sample set of collage matchboxes from Sweet Wolf. Her ENTIRE stock was new, and it all sold like hot cakes. Now you have pictorial proof of why that is.

As for my new stock, I still have yet to take pictures... (oops!) because I took the GRE on Tuesday. Woohoo! For anyone wondering, I already know my score since I took it on the computer and feel like it's pretty darned respectable. However, I still have most of the new stuff and plan to post pictures this weekend or the start of next week to show some Halloween love DGAJ style. A few new skull pieces, rings, rib cage necklaces (get excited), feather fascinators, and vampire teeth necklaces are all in the mix. Like many Oscar acceptance speakers, I'm sure I'm leaving someone/thing out, but there will be pictures to make up for it.
So what can you expect from VLVF if you decide to go? Lots of delicious food- sweet bread (FTW!), tacos, tamales, beautiful paper mache parade pieces, sculptures, altars, sugar skulls, a massive and awesome parade that takes up a big part of Congress and probably pisses off Austin drivers, and a nonstop crowd (I mean crowd in a good way) of people decked out in DDLM garb head to toe. If you stop by our booth, you can expect great handmade work accompanied by lovingly snarkalicious retorts at one another, unless you want in on that too. The bands aren't half bad either-there were a few punky starters and one that Kim said sounded like Jefferson Airplane, but I guess you'll need to go to find out for yourself.

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: I am a Modern Girl (DJ Trouble WFMU Fundraiser Mix)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Treats

While I love a healthy dose of gothy style year-round, I equally relish seeing everyone else getting into the aesthetic as well as the Halloween & Day of the Dead spirit this month. A few standby designer favorites, Betsey Johnson and Tarina Tarantino, are plunging in head first and have whipped up some delish treats. Enjoy!
Betsey Johnson Black Cat Earrings

Betsey Johnson 'Lip Charm' Necklace
Betsey Johnson 'Love Bites' Cuff

Tarina Tarantino Sugar Skull Drop Earrings

Tarina Tarantino Electric Aztec Crystal Horned Headband

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: Brothers by The Black Keys

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Emerging from the Depths...

Yikes! I haven't posted on this thing in almost two months. No worries; I have as many excuses as I have pairs of shoes in my closet...Hold on, I'm counting. Regardless, it's been too long. Since my last post, Austin Fashion Week has come and gone. In case you missed it, the event went as smoothly as I could have asked for and my jewelry was really well received by the soiree attendees and JR Salon clients alike.
Immediately following AFW, I went on a much needed (I can't emphasize either part of that enough) family vacation to England and had a *splendid* time. For my Facebook friends, there's a thorough snapshot chronicle that I uploaded-all the obligatory shots you've already seen in books but are somehow still intrigued by and more English ceilings than you ever thought you wanted to see.

Post vacation/jet lag catch-up week, I wasted no time and jumped right into studying for the GRE and applying for grad school. No, there are no pictures of this, and seriously, would you really want to see them if there were? So, I'm still waist deep in all of that and hope to make new jewelry for my two upcoming shows which I'll talk about in my next post...which won't be two months from now.

Action Jackson out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tour Guide: Austin Fashion Week

Austin Fashion Week 2010 is almost here! And yes, in case you're wondering, I am and will be running around like a mad woman for the next few days to get ready. As intimidating and overwhelming as AFW can be for participants, I think it can seem that way to Austinites on the outside looking in. There is a mass of cocktail parties and runway shows clumped into the small time span of one week, so it's hard to know which ones are most worth your while. Which is where I come in; think of me as your tour guide.

The week will kick off with Bright Lights Idea City, a showcase of designs from Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Robert Stock for Robert Graham, and the mash up teams from AFW 2010. So, you'll get to see the blood, sweat, and tears of Team Anachronism (aka my team) in person. In addition, there will be gratis food and cocktails alongside a silent auction and art sale benefiting Dress for Success. What does that mean exactly? You can bid on any one of the mash up team prints as well as jewelry, clothing, bags, etc. from all participating designers. Pretty cool, huh? If you'd like to purchase tickets, you can do so from the AFW website.

Sunday, August 15th marks the first day of salon/boutique and showcase designer pair up events. All events during this week through Friday, August 20th will be free to the public.

To kick off the week and end your weekend well, you should stop by Shear Decadence. This shindig will be hosted at Salon Intuitions from 5-8pm and will showcase the talent of Merritt Gade Fine Handmades. To sweeten the deal, Merritt and her salon will provide tasty treats, a 20% discount on all MGFH jewelry, gift bags, raffle prizes, and a photo booth by Booth 66.

One especially important point- if you attend both my and Merritt's events, you will be entered for a very special raffle to win goodies from both of us. We will be handing out raffle tickets at each event that you will need to take to the other as proof that you've attended both, i.e. pick up a ticket from Merritt's event, fill it out, and bring it to me. You will be entered for the raffle. Our parties are less than one mile apart, so it'll be easier than taking candy from...well, you know.

On that same day during the exact same time slot (August 15th, 5-8pm), yours truly will be hosting a retro-inspired cocktail party, Pin-Ups and Pastries, at JR Salon. We will have cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar, complimentary cocktails, and raffle prizes and goodie bags with freebies from Diamonds and Guns, JR Salon, and the always fabulous Kuhmillion. Btw~ Beth Hempton from Kuhmillion designed these beautiful party flyers for me. Don't they rock?

On Monday, be sure to head over to one of my favorite spots in town-North Lamar downtown for Jetset to Style. The always lovely Anne Marie Beard, handbag designer extraordinaire, will host a fashion show complete with yummy treats, cocktails, goodie bags for the first 25 attendees through the door, the works. Jetset to Style will take place at the new (at least new to me) Austin shoe store, Stella Says Go, and proceeds will benefit 1 House at a Time. I have a feeling that my attempts to save money will prove futile after attending this stylish party, especially as it will be serving as my Monday happy hour.

On Wednesday, August 18th, Lovely Austin, one of the rockin local boutiques that carries DGAJ will be hosting Cupcakes, Cocktails, Makeovers, and Fashion with Material. I am jumping out of my seat excited about this event because the gal behind Material, Kellie Lewis, is on my AFW mash up team! She is insanely nice, and the pieces she made for our team competition are amazing! For the event, there will be complimentary cocktails, treats by the Cupcake Bar, and daytime to evening mini-makeovers.

To close out your week, check out the Austin Fashion Awards Show, which will be going on starting at 5:30pm at The Long Center on Saturday, August 21st. Along with the awards presentation, there will be live performances by Austin bands, SPEAK! and Zayra along with runway shows by Line & Dot, Rene Geneva, Boudoir Queen, Chloe Dao, and *drum roll please* Betsey Johnson. I'm promising myself now that I will not freak out and try to run onstage and hug her. I will instead remember that I am a calm and collected adult(ish) who doesn't get starstruck. Ever. Not even by Betsey Johnson.

Be sure to drop me a line if you're planning on attending any of these or any other rockin events happening during Austin Fashion Week. Hope to see a lot of you out there.

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: Debut by Bjork

Monday, August 2, 2010

Heavy Metal pt. 2

As promised here are a few more pictures of the jewelry I made for this year's AFW team design challenge. This first piece is a crown that was worn by our female model. The brass sheet was pretty malleable, so once we cut the strip and sanded/buffered the edges, bending it to a head-shape was a pinch. I then spray painted the deco fan with a crackled brass and attached it and the peach Swarovskis using liquid fusion and E6000, respectively. Another piece that I made for our female model was this arm coil band/cuff. The material is copper tubing (hardware store find) that is typically used for plumbing. To get this shape, we wrapped the tubing around a can (yes, some elbow grease was definitely needed). The curled end was achieved with pliers, a vice-like small tool used by plumbers, and plenty of patience. To finish it off, I put a few layers of brass crackle spray paint on the piece. A good tip for working with copper- it can change shape more easily than brass, but if you over-manipulate the metal, it will become brittle, more difficult to shape, and has a higher potential for breaking.

Finally, this necklace was made for and worn by our male model. It was intended to be flashy and over the top, so hopefully attendees of the fashion show in two weeks (eep!) will agree. When worn, the brass pieces fan out really well and give the necklace an art deco vibe. The rectangles were initially one brass sheet. The metal is thicker than the picture would lead you to believe, so we needed to use metal cutting shears (and some muscle) to cut. Holes were drilled on each metal piece, and the rectangles were strung with onyx-colored iridescent chandelier beads on an all-jump ring strand.

I'll be sure to post even more pictures so you can get the full 360 of these pieces (or as 360 as the interwebs will allow). For now, please visit to vote for your favorite designers/salons/boutiques/models/photographers/makeup artists/anyone else I'm omitting. If I happen to make your list, I'd be okay with that too.

Action Jackson out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Heavy Metal

So, remember how I promised pics of my jewelry from the Austin Fashion Week challenge? Well, I don't want to use the dog ate my homework bit, but the dog ate my homework/my camera decided to be stubborn mid-upload. I was able to get a few shots though, so here they are. For the challenge, my team decided to go with an Egyptian theme, which is characterized by intricate beading and lots of metal when it comes to jewelry- neither of which I have much experience with.
When it came time to brainstorm and sit down at the drawing board, I enlisted the help of Merritt Gade (of Merritt Gade Fine Handmades) and Lori Hooks (of Adorn Modern), jewelry metalsmith extraordinaires. Actually, first I freaked out (a lot) and then I enlisted their help...which may or may not have been followed by more freaking out.
Lori was nice enough to let me invade her garage studio to work on the metal pieces as well as teach me plenty of techniques to turn hardware store brass sheets, copper wire tubing, and a few ideas I sketched/scribbled out into some rockin jewelry. The brass sheet for the cuffs was split down the middle and hammered out into a more wrist-friendly shape. I then used liquid fusion to glue on the art deco scarabs.
I decided to do one piece that was more on the side of what I do, which is where these scarab lucite filigree earrings came into play. I might just have to make some to sell on my Etsy shop. Whatdya think?
In other news, The WonderCraft, one of the Austin boutiques I sell my jewelry at, has found a new home on the east side at Starving Art. One of their neighbors of E.A.T. (East Austin Trailer park eatery) will be hosting a grand opening, and the WC gals will be open and celebrating their new digs tomorrow at 5pm. Read all about the new spot on The WonderCraft's blog and be sure to hit up the party tomorrow!

If that's not enough to keep you busy, come check out one of the other rockin shops that carries DGAJ, Lovely Austin Boutique's Grand Re-Opening tomorrow from 6-9pm at their new pad, i.e. 1506 S. 1st St. They'll have live music, ice cold popsicles from Austin's own Goodpop, and the cherry on top will be the premiere of one of my crafty friends, Anne Marie's handbags and accessories at the shop.

So, be sure to check out these stellar events this weekend, get ready for Austin Fashion Week voting and more updates, and while you're at it, shake your fist at my camera.

Action Jackson out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pinups and Pastries

I'm currently still in the planning stages for Austin Fashion Week, however, I'm thrilled to share some exciting developments for the event I'll be hosting with JR Salon. I'll post a Facebook event very very soon, but in the meantime here's the basics:

What: Pinups and Pastries Austin Fashion Week Event
Where: JR Salon (4800 Burnet Rd.)
When: Sunday, August 15th 5-8pm
Why: There's free cupcakes and cocktails in it for you if you come. If that's not enough incentive, I promise to make some fabulous jewelry/eye candy that'll make it worth your while. For the event, the salon will primp a few models ala Bettie Page to showcase their fierce (yes, I just said fierce) hair styling and mad makeup artist skills. To round out the look, these lovelies will be donning corsets and some rockin DGAJ jewelry.

So what about that exciting news, you say?

Kuhmillion Lingerie and The Cupcake Bar will be sponsoring our event to make it an especially stellar night.
Kuhmillion is an Austin-based lingerie company that is part classy, part retro and sells their satin and lace at prices even yours truly could afford. And that's saying something. Even if Vargas pinups aren't your thing, the variety in styles is vast enough to suit any taste. Our models will be sporting some fabulous pin-up stockings from the Kuhmillion boutique so you can see in person just how great their wares are. In the meantime, check them out here.
For those of you who've been living under a rock in Austin for the past few years, The Cupcake Bar is a cupcakes only catering service that combines unconventional flavors with even more unconventional toppings (nerds, gumballs, pop rocks, pixie sticks just to name a few) that are custom-made to your specs (hence the "Bar" part of the name) to make something that is not only insanely delicious but also super fun. If you want to see what I mean, check them out here.

The salon and I are brainstorming party favor ideas in the form of raffles and goodie bags; believe me when I say I'll keep you updated on this. All the same, hope to see as many of you there as possible!

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: The Island by Le Tigre

Friday, July 16, 2010

That Hansel is So Hot Right Now

First up, if you don't have plans tonight, you should check out Pixel Pop: a Fusion of Art, Fashion and Music. If you do have plans, cancel them- chances are this promises to be more fun anyway. This all ages event is goin on at Mohawk tonight starting at 9:30pm and will feature art/art demos, a fashion show, pop-up shops, make and takes by The WonderCraft, tasty treats from Blue Note Bakery, photo booths, live music, and giveaways. Whew, that's a mouthful! Personally, I'll be seeing Predators tonight at The Ritz Alamo, but I will definitely be stopping by afterwords.

Note: This picture has been removed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenient lameness.

In other news, yesterday was the team photo submission deadline for Austin Fashion Week, which means I can start leaking all the pictures I want. What you see (above) is the product of my team's (aka Team Anachronism) blood, sweat, and tears. The models featured are Lauren Rachelle and Robby Gonzalez, whom my team selected in June at the AFW Model Call. The beautiful dress that Lauren is sporting was made by Kellie Lewis of Material. Robby is also donning a wrap made by Kellie; you just can't see it in this particular photo. Egyptian eye makeup, Goldfinger-esque body paint, and even a wraparound snake (on Lauren) are all makeup splendors created by Wendy Sanders of Blood and Glitter Makeup.

One of the first things I see when I look at this photo is the intricately designed gold and silver hair centerpiece (yep, it's hair) on Robby. Equally intricate and detailed is the tall hairstyle on Lauren that incorporates watch faces, leaves, and a head piece by yours truly. The avant garde hair you see here was done by the sweet and talented Pamela Ivy Kim. Finally, the beautiful photography work that captured the tangible efforts of our team members in one concise shot was done by Julien Larmay. The jewelry was of course done by DGAJ. Close up shots soon to come!

So what's next on the list for DGAJ and Austin Fashion Week? I'm in the works of planning my trunk show/soiree-esque event in collaboration with JR Salon. I'll be posting details on my event as well as those of other Etsy Austines soon, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, check out Pixel Pop tonight at Mohawk.

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: Frankenchrist by Dead Kennedys

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Can Haz Break?

Sheesh. I have not been the model blogger by any means for the past three weeks, i.e. unusually long hiatus. But but but, I assure you (in the same way I would a professor asking for an explanation on late homework) I have several excellent reasons! Could this explain for seemingly arbitrary pictures of adorable kittens on my blog? Yes, yes it could.
As some of you know, I moved recently, and I'm irked to report I'm still not 100% moved in. I have moved once every year for the past four years (or six if you want to throw in dorm move-ins), and at the end of each subsequent move, I'm always amazed at two things: a) how long it takes to really finish moving in and b) that I somehow have the energy to keep moving at that rate. Admittedly, I'm losing a little steam and the "novelty" is wearing off, so hopefully I can give it a break for a few years. No pictures yet (believe me, you wouldn't want them even if I had them to show off), but when the new place is presentable, I'll post.
...which brings me to my next excellent reason for not posting, a kitten named Alice. Two days into my move, I was needed back at work for a day and while there, I found a kitten romping around campus. At UT, there is a wonderful program in place known as the Campus Cat Coalition that traps, spays/neuters, and releases cats found on campus. In addition, the UT CCC cares for and adopts out kittens found on campus who are under the age of 12 weeks. Because the primary caretaker for kittens was overbooked, I took it upon myself to foster this adorable fur ball. Her (temporary) name is Alice, and she is a 10-week old torby (part tabby, part tortoiseshell, though I don't really see the latter). So, though the timing with moving and everything else wasn't ideal, I'm glad to have helped take care of this pretty girl in the meantime.
But wait, there's more (not even kidding)! During the weekend of my move, I created jewelry for Austin Fashion Week's team design competition. Basically, there are 24 teams consisting of clothing designers, jewelry makers, hair stylists, makeup artists, photographers, and models competing in the challenge. Each team creates a look for a photo shoot (one photo is submitted to AFW) and runway show. Once digital prints are received from all teams, they will be posted on Austin Fashion Week's website for voting. Don't worry, I'll let you know when this happens. Tomorrow's the deadline for photo submissions, so I will be posting pictures of not only my jewelry but also the team's snapshot very soon!

So yeah, you could say I've been busy. ;) I'm slowly getting back on track though, so I'll be posting more on AFW and other juicy happenings soon enough.

Action Jackson out.

Currently Listening: Emergency & I- The Dismemberment Plan

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Etsy!

So, I realize I'm a little late on this, but in between preparing to move next week, working, and everything else life throws at you, it's been too crazy to post until now. Last Friday was Etsy's birthday party, and Etsians all over the world celebrated, including Austin's very own Etsy street team.
Yours truly was in charge of organizing and planning the team's craft party for a crowd of 75. Needless to say, I was freaking out a little bit at the prospect of doing this all the way up to the party when I was too busy manning the oven (for the shrinky dinks) to freak out. And who says being busy doesn't have its advantages?
Prepping for the party definitely came down to the wire (especially with me running a little behind schedule that day), but if there's two things you can count on our team members to do, it's making things pretty (or making pretty things) and doing so efficiently. Once the party started rolling, my fears of running out of food, possibly violating fire codes, and ensuring guests had a good time melted away. And no, I don't think that was the toaster oven talking.
Though I was mostly involved in baking shrinky dinks and helping guests to make buttons, magnets, and keychains out of their hand-drawn creations, there was plenty more going on at the party. We took the team Yudu (gifted to us while participating in a South by Southwest craft event) out for a spin, and Debbie of Debbie Carroll Designs printed bags, tees, and aprons for everyone who brought one.
Amy (Craft Chi) also stopped by to screen print the *famous* Etsy is Cool screen design that Etsy commissioned her to make for the birthday goodie boxes. So, you could say we had an Etsy celebrity on hand, which is pretty cool if you ask me.
Our third craft that we had running for our guests was button making. Judging by how much our party attendees liked this, I'd say you're never too old to make or wear one! Beth H (Snuggle Herd) provided guests with a hands on tutorial for button makers and provided fabric and eclectic paper scraps for custom-made buttons.
All in all, I'd say the party was a hit. Our guests all left smiling and with plenty of party favors in hand, we had yummy food left over (even if the cupcakes were running a little low at the end), and as for the fire code I was worried about, totally not an issue. For more pics from the party, check them out here.

Action Jackson out!
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